Former Teacher Faces Backlash After She Reveals Code Used When Talking to Parents


A former elementary school teacher based in New Hampshire revealed the approach she would use when discussing her students with their parents.

In a video posted to TikTok in February, Jess Smith, 33, said teachers “have a code when we email parents.”

“When we use phrases like, ‘Your child is very social,’ that means they won’t stop talking,” she said.

She also shared another “secret teacher (sic) code” like, “Their excitement in the classroom is contagious,” which really means, “They will not calm down.”

“Or if they’re a natural born leader, your child is super bossy,” Smith continued.

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Have you used our secret Teacher Code when talking with parents?? 🤫 #teachersoftiktok #teacherlife #secret #teacher #parents

♬ original sound – Bored Teachers

Many viewers on TikTok criticized Smith in response to her video.

“I’m a teacher and do not use these ‘codes.’ It’s not helpful to anyone to sugar coat an issue. I stick with facts and observations,” one viewer wrote.

Another viewer wrote, “Don’t like your job. Please just quit.”

One viewer suggested she “drop the codes” and “tell them what the issue is” adding, it’s “really not that hard to do.”

Another viewer wrote, “This is so horrible. So, basically you insult the children with nice words, like a backhanded compliment. That’s not right.”

“As a parent, I would rather a teacher just tell me (sic) instead of using codes,” another viewer wrote.

They added, “We know our kids. We live with them and have you them (sic) for 8 hours.”

In an interview with the “Today” show on March 21, Smith, who is now a “social media strategist” for Bored Teachers, an online platform dedicated to teachers, addressed her controversial video.

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“If a serious conversation needed to happen, I didn’t sugarcoat it,” she said.

Smith added, “Connecting with the parents was always important” to her.

“And I never wanted them to feel like, ’This is your problem to take care of.’ No, this is something we can work on together. I’m here to help your kid,” she explained.

Continuing, she said, “I found that parents just responded better to the code.”

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